Thermal Camera Outs Pro Cyclists as Secret Electric Motor Cheats

By Gary Cutlack on at

A joint investigation by Italy's Corriere della Sera newspaper and France's Télévisions Stade 2 claims to have uncovered evidence of systematic mechanical doping in the professional cycling ranks, with thermal cameras appearing to show miniature power systems and warm batteries in the bikes of seven pro riders.

The report's analysis of the thermal images says it has caught five riders running with bottom bracket motors that whack up to 250 extra Watts into the drive system, with a further two riders rumbled using what appears to be a different, newer and more complex system of powered rear wheel magnets.

The makers seem pretty sure that's what their thermal cameras were indeed seeing, hence this scandalous expose:

Given it's a French-led investigation, there's plenty of footage of Chris Froome smashing all their cyclists to pieces in previous Tours, with the makers clearly inferring Froome's wins weren't just because we're better at riding bikes than them lot -- but no actual evidence or thermal footage of Froome's bike is shown.

In fact, the report doesn't even name the seven cyclists its thermal imaging system has apparently outed, so, as ever with pro sport, we're left guessing. [YouTube via Deadspin]

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